Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets.

Homecooking and counter surfing

Harmony has been restored in my home this week.  And it was about time!  I had a week of the boys being grumpy with each other — growling, posturing, chasing each other around.  I hate it.  I have one of the sweetest, gentlest breeds of dog in the world but when there’s a girl in season involved even the boys in this breed can get all manly.  There was a wee bit too much testosterone on display for a few days.



But things are back to normal now.  Thankfully we only go through this phase about once a year.  We don’t usually have much trouble but the last couple of times it’s happened my boy Beau has, unusually, tried to assert himself.  I think he’s been making a power play.  He’s usually a very laid back, quiet dog.  But it seems that when he gets riled up about something he tries to take over the top spot from his older brother, Taylor.  So, things started out about a girl but it quickly turned into a brother rivalry.


Taylor is still in charge though even though he’s 12 years old.  I have to admire my old guy.  He’s very special to me.  He’s always been there for me through everything.  When I feel down it was always Taylor who came to me.  He’s washed tears from my face and laid beside me.  He has the most beautiful, soulful brown eyes.  He looks so much like his mother.


Taylor is getting a little rickety now.  He has some arthritis in his back legs.  I give him glucosamine-chondroitin-MSM tablets everyday to help his joints.  The vet told me it was fine to give him a little buffered aspirin once in a while if he seemed to have some pain but he doesn’t seem to be in any chronic pain.  He still trots around the backyard and he’ll play with the other dogs if he feels like it.


I give Taylor some special homecooked food, too, along with the regular food I give everyone else.  He lost some weight last summer — about 3-5 pounds (he’s 65 pounds) — and I got a little worried about him.  I wanted to help him gain his weight back so I started cooking for him to give him an extra meal everyday.  He loves sweet potatoes so I boil them up for him and mash them with cooked chicken or hamburger meat.  It’s not a very elaborate meal but he likes it and he’s gained his weight back.  I don’t give him enough to throw off the nutritional balance of his regular dog food.  I’m not trying to substitute homecooking for his regular food.  I’m just trying to supplement it.


All of the other dogs envy his extra meal and drool over it.  I have to hold them back so they don’t dive in and gobble it up.  I think I’m lucky because my dogs will eat absolutely anything.  I cooked corn on the cob for dinner last night and put the cobs in the trash after dinner.  I kept meaning to take out the trash before I went to bed but I forgot.  When I got up this morning they were gone, of course.  I don’t know which dog(s) ate them.  I’m halfway expecting somebody to toss them up and be sick but so far no sign of them.  It doesn’t do any good to tell my dogs that corn’s not good for them and they can’t digest it properly; or that corn cobs can be dangerous to them.


My dogs are heathen scavengers.  They’re what we, with Setters, call “counter surfers.”  That means that if you turn your back for a second they will snatch anything you leave out on the counter.  You can’t ever think you can leave anything unattended because your dog will stand on his back paws and “surf” the counter looking for something interesting.  Years ago I had an ongoing problem whenever I brought a loaf of bread in the house.  I had a dog that LOVED bread.  If I put a loaf on the counter when I was carrying groceries in, she would grab the loaf and wolf it down while I was getting more groceries.  I was lucky if I found the plastic bag.  I never had a loaf of bread because it didn’t last a minute in the house.  I developed the habit of putting my bread in the cabinet as soon as I walked in the kitchen so she couldn’t get it.  I still do it even though she’s been dead for years.  Dear sweet Molly was the smartest, or one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever had.  But, boy, did she cause me problems!  She was so devious!



Billie, the bad counter surfer

Billie, the bad counter surfer

I don’t know if you can really train a dog not to counter surf.  Billie is a bad counter surfer.  She stole a pizza out of my oven while I was waiting for it to cool.  Now that’s bad!  She ate the entire thing and didn’t leave a crumb.  When she went to stay with my friend in California for a few months my friend complained over and over about what a bad counter surfer Billie was.  Apparently Billie even ate a bag full of prescription meds from the vet once — though I think the other dogs probably helped her.  Finally, my friend began telling me that she had cured Billie’s counter surfing.  Yeah, sure.  I had my doubts.  When Billie came home she was better than she had been when she left but she still counter surfs.  At least now when I yell at her to get her nose out of my sauce pan she does listen and get down.



Pearl and Blue jump up to see what’s on the counter once in a while but they aren’t habitual offenders.  If I tell them to get down, they do.  But I don’t think I’d trust any of my dogs alone in the house with a loaf of bread on the counter.


March 20, 2009 - Posted by | dogs, Pets | , , , , ,

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